Bill Monroe was born in 1911 in Rosine, Kentucky, the youngest of eight children who worked their family's 655-acre farm and helped with mining and timber operations. His family was also musical: his mother sang and played harmonica, button accordian, and fiddle; his brother Charlie played the guitar
Percussion drums, those essential and heavenly instruments of Latin rhythm, cover the stage: they emit an unexpected presence, like silent band members waiting to come alive. The buzzing current in the air tastes sweet like brown sugar, but also hints at crackling spice. The crowd awaits a genius, a
His sinuous fingers worked the vinyl like none before him. His nerves were a straight shot from his head to his hands without stopping anywhere along the way. The turntables were nearly another pair of hands. It's hard to say if he was first to scratch or cut -- there's been arguments on all sides. I
Anything made by hand or by machine or by lies is "fabricated." Fabrication is that dubious domain where invention can slide toward, and couple with, duplicity. Or not. Sugarhill Gang, one of the first groups to put hip hop on vinyl, knew this slippery slope just too well.
With luck on their side, t